Travel Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Planning a trip to Nashville? This Nashville Travel Guide provides a curated list of the best accommodations, things to do, restaurants and bars! This city, which has become one of the trendiest places to visit in the United States, is absolutely brimming with energy! Music City truly lives up to its name, with music spilling out of every honky-tonk on Broadway, restaurants serving down-home Southern foods, bars providing live music at every turn, an insane nightlife scene, and more. Whether you’re visiting Nashville for the first time, or you’re a local looking to expand your circle of go-to joints, this Nashville travel guide will help navigate all things Music City!

Quick Tips


Nashville is considered a very safe city, but as always be aware of your surroundings.


The best time to travel to Nashville is from April-October, when the warm weather brings the city to life.


Nashville is in Central Standard Time (GMT-6) or one hour behind New York City.

What To Expect


Whether you dress fashion-forward, country-chic, or keep it casual, there is no wrong way to dress in Nashville! The city itself is pretty casual, so jeans are almost always acceptable.


Nashville is a great destination year-round! Winter (December – February) is considered the city’s low season due to the chilly weather, but Christmas and New Year’s are both very fun times to be in the city. During summer months, you can expect a hot and humid climate, so be sure to pack accordingly.


When it comes to American cities, Nashville offers a great bang for your buck! Of course, you can spend a fortune if you decide to stay at 5-star hotels and eat at upscale restaurants every night. But let me tell you, as a former Nashville resident, that you can have an incredible weekend on a budget! It is important to note, however, that as it’s popularity has increased, Nashville has gotten more expensive. A few ways to save money include checking out hotels a bit further from downtown, renting a car rather than using ride share apps, enjoying free walking tours around the city, and spending time listening to live music in less touristy areas.


Nashville is considered a very safe city. But as always, be aware of your surroundings when traveling and keep your belongings secured. While partying on Broadway pay extra close attention to your cell phone, as pick-pocketing has become more of an issue over recent years.


The local airport, located about 15 minutes from the city center, is Nashville International Airport (BNA). Not only is the airport conveniently located, but it also offers direct flights to most large domestic cities and numerous international destinations.


Nashville is a fairly compact city, so you don’t need to cover a ton of ground to see most of the popular sights. If staying downtown, most places are within walking distance. Otherwise, rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are plentiful and usually fairly affordable. If traveling on a budget you can also check out the bus route and rental bikes.

Neighborhood Guide


Full of cool vintage stores, boutiques, murals, delicious places to eat, street art, and more, this is one of my all time favorite neighborhoods in Nashville! The neighborhood is located about 10 minutes from downtown and is an absolute must-see! You can expect over 20 places to eat and drink, from laid back joints to fine dining, a wide array of boutiques and apparel shops, and even a farmers market every Tuesday from 3:30 – 6:30.


This bar-hopping and culinary mecca is home to over 30 bars and restaurants and is a very popular area for the locals. If you are looking for a lively night out, but avoiding the wild honky-tonk scene of Broadway, this is my top recommendation to check out! You can expect a more relaxed and less touristy vibe in midtown, with incredible live music. One of my favorite local spots for a casual dinner with live music is The Row. Be sure to snag a seat in the outdoor tent!


Located just across the Cumberland River from downtown, this area of the city is probably Nashville’s most eccentric and liberal area, especially embraced by artists and musicians. The area offers more local and laid-back vibes and is mostly inhabited by young, hip adults and families. Even though it doesn’t draw the tourist crowds like downtown does, it offers a huge list of amazing businesses that are undoubtedly some of the best in Nashville. You can also find incredible art galleries, large public parks, live music joints, and a fun, laid back nightlife scene.


This neighborhood is located a little bit south of Downtown Nashville and has an upscale, trendy vibe. Similar to 12 South, this area is very walkable and is full of shopping, places to eat, and cool murals. The Gulch is one of my personal favorite areas to wander around and grab lunch or dinner, or head to the rooftop bars before going out downtown!


With over sixty bars and restaurants, varying from local hotspots to national chains, Downtown Nashville is truly a one-of-a-kind experience! This neighborhood is the heart of the city, bursting with energy. Between the flashing lights of the Broadway “honky tonks,” which feature live music every day of the week, and the constant events occurring at Bridgestone, Nissan Stadium, the Ryman, and Riverfront, Nashville has definitely earned the nickname “Nashvegas.” The area is extremely walkable and touristy – the perfect place to stay during your first visit to Nashville!


Another fun and local party area that is located adjacent to the Gulch and just South of Downtown Nashville. The neighborhood is only about a quarter of a mile long, with big outdoor patios attached to most of the restaurants and bars. When the weather is nice, the patios fill up and create a fun city energy! Demonbreun Hill is also my favorite area to watch sports on the weekends. Definitely don’t miss Tailgate brewery – the lasagna pizza and garlic knots will blow your mind!


Located between Belmont University and Vanderbilt University, this urban and walkable neighborhood is home to a lot of college students, young adults, and families. Here you can enjoy over 25 bars and restaurants, some great shopping, and more. While this neighborhood doesn’t need to be on the top of your list to visit, I almost always make a stop here to check out the clothing boutiques when visiting Nashville!


Make sure you travel to Germantown, one of the oldest areas in Nashville with awesome, eclectic vibes. Here, you can expect over 15 restaurants, a more mild nightlife, a few cute boutiques, ample street parking, and more greenery than your typical city neighborhood. It’s also worth mentioning that the annual Nashville Oktoberfest is a major attraction here, when the entire city shows up for tours of the historic churches, German traditions, and live music.



This lifestyle hotel, owned by Marriott, is one of the newest hotels in Nashville and already a popular spot for lively, young travelers! Located in The Gulch, it provides a high-energy, urban experience complete with a 9,700-foot WET Deck pool, a gorgeous rooftop, a bar lined with luxury cabanas, fine dining, live entertainment, and even pool parties!


The place to stay if you’re after the most luxurious hotel in town! This gorgeous 33-story building is conveniently located just on the edge of downtown, in walking distance to most attractions (the convention center, the Ryman, Bridgestone, Frist Art Museum, restaurants and bars). Between the gym, pool, spa, valet parking, and more, this hotel truly has it all.


This hotel, which has set a standard for best downtown Nashville luxury hotels, offers an incredible rooftop pool, fitness center, seasonal poolside bar, an on-site spa, four on-site restaurants, and some of the most stunning views of the city! It is centrally located downtown, making it very easy to get around.


Located directly on Music Row, in the center of all of the action, is this gorgeous brand-new hotel! Virgin Hotel is well known by the locals for offering incredible live music every Saturday starting at noon. The trendy hotel is complete with a gorgeous rooftop, three different restaurants, and is walking distance to most of Nashville.


A boutique hotel in downtown Nashville, located within walking distance of the Ryman Auditorium & a plethora of bars and restaurants. The hotel also features a gorgeous rooftop bar!


For more than 100 years this boutique hotel has been the premier accommodation in Music City, hosting every famous musician and celebrity that the city has ever seen.


This hotel is beautifully furnished with a modern, artsy boutique vibe, and offers a gorgeous rooftop pool with stunning views of the city. Additionally, it has a delicious restaurant on site!


Located in the Arts District, this trendy hotel offers an ultra-modern meets rustic country vibe. It is best known for its incredible rooftop and is one of the top pet-friendly hotels in Nashville.

Extra Travel Tips

  • Check out Nashville Guru’s website for a list of upcoming events! 
  • Most of the honky-tonks on Broadway do not have a cover charge, making it easy to pass back and forth between them at any time. 
  • Nashville is very strict about checking your ID! Even if you are 60 years old, do not be surprised when they require identification for entrance.
  • The only foreign IDs accepted are physical passports.  
  • Tipping in Nashville is about the same as it is anywhere else in America. Tips are expected in restaurants, bars & clubs as well as for Taxi’s.
  • It is illegal to have an open container of alcohol while wandering around in Nashville.

Things To Do


If you travel to Nashville, you need to visit the Ryman — located in the historic heart and soul of country music in Music City. It dates back over 125 years and is the original home of the Grand Ole Opry – the famous stage that showcases the past, present, and future of country music. Not only is the Ryman a music venue, it is also a well-known museum, preserving the history of country music and Nashville’s role in shaping music as we know it today.


As one of the world’s largest museums, it is home to 2.5 million artifacts, including recordings, photos, instruments, and so many other things. Even the collection and variety of cowboy boots and clothes is mind-blowing in itself! The museum also houses larger, one-of-a-kind items like Elvis’ “Solid Gold” Cadillac painted with crushed diamonds and fish scales.


Known as the “Home of American Music”, the Grand Ole Opry is one of the most popular things to do while visiting Nashville! There are shows every Friday and Saturday night, as well as Tuesday nights from March to December. They also run a variety of tours if you want to learn more or go backstage.


Located just two miles west of downtown Nashville lays this large, gorgeous, well-maintained park that is one of our favorite places to relax! Inside the park, you’ll find many attractions, including walking trails, a lake, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, volleyball courts, and a full-scale replica of the Pantheon in Greece!


If visiting Nashville on a sunny, warm weekend, we highly recommend heading 30 minutes out of town to visit this gorgeous vineyard! You can expect a spacious property full of people having picnics, playing games, and drinking wine. The vineyard itself sells a variety of about 20 reds, whites, and dessert wines, which can be purchased by the bottle or for wine tasting. Additionally, there is frequent live music and a rotating list of food trucks on Fridays.


Nashville Hot chicken: Hattie B’s or Prince’s Lasagna pizza at Tailgate Brewery Row Poppers at The Row Nashville BBQ: Martin’s BBQ or Edley’s BBQ 5 Daughters Bakery: 100 layer doughnut Jennie’s Ice Cream Bushwacker – originally created at Broadway Brewhouse


Our Nashville travel guide would not be complete without discussing the live music scene! At any given hour it’s hard to go anywhere without hearing the faint traces of harmony. Music is literally everywhere, 365 days a year! While country music wasn’t born in Nashville, it certainly evolved in Nashville – in the basement studios of Music Row, on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and in the hearts of the thousands of hopeful musicians. In fact, live music is easily what put Nashville on the map and is arguably the top drawing factor to Nashville.

The music scene in Nashville is as diverse as the songwriters and musicians who make up the community. You already know you can find free and live music 365 days a year at the Honky Tonks, but you can also find Americana, Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, and just about any other genre of music at a variety of venues around town. Whether you plan to visit big icons, like the Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman Auditorium, or kick it at smaller singer-songwriter venues, such as the Listening Room Café, there’s something for everyone! You will find a quick run down of some of our favorite places in our Nashville travel guide below!

The Local Spots

  • Rudy’s Jazz Room 
  • Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar 
  • The Station Inn (Best bluegrass club)
  • The Basement
  • Skull’s Rainbow Room
  • The Basement East
  • The Listening Room
  • The End
  • Cobra
  • Ascend Amphitheater
  • Flamingo Lounge 
  • Never Never Nashville 
  • Char Piano Bar
  • The Row
  • East Room
  • Exit/In
  • The Moxy Nashville
  • Belcourt Taps 
  • Scoreboard Bar & Grill 
  • FirstBank Amphitheater
  • Commodore grill
  • Puckett’s  
  • Sambuca
  •  The Virgin Hotel 

Honky Tonks & Tourist Spots

  • Tootsies Orchid Lounge 
  • The Stage
  • Ole Red
  • Dierks Bentley’s Whisky Row
  • Losers Bar & Grill
  • The Bluebird Cafe
  • Grand Ole Opry 
  • City Winery 
  • Ryman Auditorium 
  • Tin Roof & other Demonbreun Bars 
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Acme Feed & Seed
  • Robert’s Western World
  • Kung Fu Saloon
  • The Stillery

The Best Shopping


Our favorite neighborhood to shop, offering a slew of up-scale boutiques, coffee shops, independent designer stores, and even consignment shops. Not to mention, this neighborhood is a great place to walk around and enjoy the day.


This open-air avenue in Green Hills is the place to go if you are after a full afternoon of shopping! Here you will find everything from Anthropologie, West Elm, and other upscale national chains, to exclusive clothing boutiques. Directly adjacent to the avenue is the equally enticing Bandwood Street, offering an additional 25+ retailers to check out.


You cannot miss an afternoon wandering the shops in the city’s fastest growing urban neighborhood! The Gulch is located just a short distance from the city center, and is home to numerous boutiques, including Blush Boutique, Kittenish, VICI, and more.


This adorable college district is the perfect place to pop in trendy and affordable boutiques, local coffee shops, Jennie’s ice cream, and numerous local shops full of jewelry, knick-knacks, and gifts. Our top recommendation to check out is Posh!


Our Nashville Travel Guide would not be complete without recommending this spot! The year-round farmers market, founded in the 1800s, is a bustling place and a must see in Nashville! Outside, the market hosts up to 100 farmers, and the inside is home to 16 restaurants, a number of shops, local artisans, and more. Whether you’re looking for gourmet pizza, Jamaican specialties, or anything in between, you’re likely to find it here.


This newly redeveloped one-stop destination for shopping, eating, and wellness in Nashville. You can expect more than 20 businesses offering everything from yoga and haircuts to milkshakes and clothing.

Nashville Restaurants

Nashville is known for many things, but did you know the Nashville food scene is actually ranked among the top 10 best food vacations in the US from TripAdvisor? Nashville is, of course, the birthplace of Nashville Hot Chicken, but the food scene extends far beyond that! As the city has continued to change and grow, it has become a true culinary destination, offering delicious classic southern cuisine, alongside just about any other type of cuisine you could want – from the simple to the divine. Here is a quick run down of our favorite spots, but head over to our Guide to the Nashville Restaurant Scene for a more in-depth review! 

Best Brunch Spots

  • San Anejo
  • LA Jackson
  • Milk & Honey
  • The Sutler
  • Tavern
  • Marche
  • Hopsmith Tavern
  • Mockingbird
  • Pinewood Social
  • Biscuit Love
  • Butcher & Bee
  • Lou
  • Cafe Roze 
  • Cafe Intermezzo 
  • Makeready L&L
  • Stateside Kitchen 
  • Urban Grub 
  • Sixty Vines
  • Josephine 
  • Henrietta Red
  • Adele’s

Best Asian

  • Virago
  • Chauhan Ale and Masala House 
  • Sunda
  • Acme Feed & Seed, 2nd floor
  • O-Ku Sushi
  • The Smiling Elephant 
  • Thai Esane
  • Bite a Bit Thai & Sushi 

Best Steak

  • Kayne Prime
  • Oak SteakHouse
  • Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse

Best American 

  • ButcherTown Hall
  • The Catbird Seat 
  • Hathorne
  • Barcelona
  • 404 Kitchen
  • Sadie’s Nashville
  • Peninsula
  • Etch 
  • Etc.
  • Josephine 
  • Rolf and Daughters
  • Lockeland Table
  • Husk
  • Carne Mare
  • Yolan
  • Chef and I

Best Vegetarian

  • Woodland’s Indian Vegetarian
  • The Wild Cow

Best Chill Spots

  • The Row
  • Edley’s BBQ
  • Party Fowl
  • Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
  • Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
  • Prince’s Hot Chicken
  • Bolton’s 
  • The Pharmacy 
  • Mas Tacos Por Favor 
  • Five Points Pizza

Best Off the Beaten Path

  • Gojo Ethiopian
  • OSH Uzbekistan
  • Hai Woon Dai Korean BBQ 
  • Taj Indian
  • Edessa Turkish
  • San Luis carniceria
  • La Delicia Mexican Bakery

Nashville Nightlife

It is no secret that Nashville, or ‘Nashvegas’, is a late-night town with plenty to do until dawn. Most bars stay open until 2 a.m., with a number of after-hours joints operating until 3 a.m., and late night diners running 24 hours a day. Similar to the live music scene, the nightlife scene is massive and diverse, offering everything from quiet, laid-back atmospheres, to full-blown honky tonks! While most people think of Broadway as the center of Nashville’s nightlife, the city actually has much more to offer beyond the tourist strip! Whether you choose to take in live music at a Honky Tonk, sip on craft cocktails at a rooftop bar, party with the locals in Midtown or East Nashville, or see one of your favorite bands perform a sell-out show, Nashville will not disappoint. We have included some of our favorite nightlife spots by neighborhood in our Nashville travel guide below!


The famous ‘honky tonk row’, where tourists & locals alike dance the night away to live music, moving down the strip from bar to bar.

  • Acme Feed & Seed
  • Tootsies Orchid Lounge 
  • Legend’s Corner
  • 12/30 Club
  • FGL House
  • Crazytown
  • Nudie’s Honky Tonk
  • Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Bar
  • Robert’s Western World 
  • Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
  • Valentine’s
  • Ole Red
  • Nashville Underground 
  • The Stage

My personal favorite area to go out in Nashville! Midtown draws less touristy crowds, while offering a lively experience with incredible live music!

  • Losers Bar & Grill
  • Old Glory
  • Kung Fu
  • Broadway Brewhouse
  • The Red Door Saloon
  • Patterson House
  • Rebar

A famous alley near Broadway providing NOLA vibes and endless opportunities to dance the night away!

  • Skulls Rainbow Room
  • Bourbon St Blues & Boogie Bar
  • Snitch 
  • Fleet Street Pub
  • Black Rabbit
  • Jane’s Hideaway

Travel across the river for more local and laid-back vibes in this eclectic neighborhood that offers an endless list of bars!

  • Pearl Diver
  • Rosemary Beauty Queen
  • Red Door East
  • Inglewood Lounge
  • Lakeside Lounge
  • Eastside Bowl
  • The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club
  • Nobles Beer Hall
  • Dukes
  • 3 Crow
  • Henry James
  • Lipstick Lounge 
  • Dinos
  • Village Pub

‘WeHo’ is short for Wedgewood-Houston, and is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Nashville. You can expect an abundance of watering holes & busy weekend vibes!

  • Bastion
  • Corsair Distillery 
  • Never Never
  • Flamingo Lounge
  • Lucky’s 3 Star
  • Santa’s Pub
  • pH Craft Cocktail

A trendy, upscale area within walking distance of downtown, with some of the best rooftops in the city!

  • LA Jackson
  • L27
  • Gertie’s Bar 
  • Bar Louie
  • Station Inn
  • Whiskey Kitchen

Best Rooftops


Located on top og the Westin Nashville, this spot is one of the city’s tallest rooftop bars! You can expect an unbelievably swanky experience at this newly remodeled rooftop, complete with a pool lounge, tasty drinks, and stunning views of the skyline.

Bobby Hotel Rooftop Loundge

Known for its 1956 Scenicrouser tour bus attraction, this rooftop provides trendy, fun, and relaxing vibes. There’s a large bar and patio seating – perfect for lite bites and cocktails.

Nashville Underground

Broadway’s tallest rooftop with panoramic views, as well as the city’s only double-decker rooftop! One rooftop level boasts turf grass and yard games, while the other has an LED video dance floor and more than 40 TVs. I can’t tell you how many nights we have danced the night away on the LED dance floor!


This is another one of Nashville’s newest rooftop destinations that is centrally located in the downtown area. Situated on top of TownePlace Suites, this rooftop features a sprawling interior and a large exterior patio, complete with heaters and fire pits.

LA Jackson

Take in incredible views of the Nashville skyline at this super popular hangout, on top of the Thompson Hotel in The Gulch. Regardless if you head there for a delicious brunch or for evening drinks, the atmosphere is always incredible!

Famous Rooftop

This is one of the few rooftops facing the Cumberland River and Nissan Stadium, which makes it a popular spot during events like the 4th of July or before Titans games.

Rare Bird

The buzzy and beautiful Rare Bird recently debuted atop Noelle, a stylish new hotel on 4th Avenue. The views are spectacular—you can see the Cumberland, Nissan Stadium & the pedestrian bridge in one swivel. The atmosphere is intimate, with fireplaces, sofas, and chairs. Look above the bar for a birdcage-inspired design.


One of the newest rooftops in Nashville, offering American fare with Mediterranean influences, skyline views on the 21st floor centered around a gorgeous outdoor pool and deck, and some nights even feature guest DJs.


Coming from a previous Nashville native, I can tell you first hand that it is one of the greatest cities in the world to visit. Between the live music scene, history, food scene, nightlife, and more, this city truly has everything to offer. Be sure to head over to our blog on the Nashville Restaurant Scene prior to your trip! And, if Nashville feels like your kind of vibe, we also recommend checking out our Dallas Travel Guide. Dallas has a similar feel to Nashville and is another one of our favorite cities. 


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